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California to investigate online lottery sales

Decision from officials in the western state follows last week’s decision by the Department of Justice that changed the applicability of the Wire Act.

Friday 30th December 2011

Following last week’s decision by the Department of Justice to change the applicability of the 40-year-old Wire Act, officials from the California State Lottery have announced that they are to investigate the possibility of selling tickets online. In a 13-page legal opinion released by Assistant US Attorney General Virginia Seitz just before Christmas, the Department of Justice revealed that the Wire Act of 1961 will now only apply to sportsbetting and not to other forms of online gambling that states may conduct on an intrastate basis. “It does open up a major potential channel for lottery sales in California but right now it's just a potential channel,” Robert O'Neill, the newly appointed Director for the California State Lottery told the Los Angeles Times newspaper earlier this week. O’Neill declared that his office is to review the legal opinion from the Department of Justice but will not be considering the possibility of offering intrastate online poker at this point. The change by the Department of Justice stems from a 2009 petition from the state lotteries of New York and Illinois that asked for the federal government’s position on their plans to use the Internet to sell tickets to players. In its subsequent legal opinion, the Department of Justice stated that ‘nothing in the materials supplied by the criminal division suggests that the New York or Illinois lottery plans involve sports wagering rather than garden-variety lotteries’. “Accordingly, we conclude that the proposed lotteries are not within the prohibitions of the Wire Act,” read the opinion from the Department of Justice.

Source: OnlineCasinoNews

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